Sunday, November 23, 2008


When did assassination (or the discussion of the act) become a legitimate part of protests against the President or President-elect?

Reading the stories about the assassination pool in Maine, betting on the date President-elect Obama would be killed, was chilling. The worst part of the sign in the Maine store window wasn't the title ("Osama Obama Shotgun Pool") but the fact that the sign concluded with this flat statement: "Let's hope someone wins."

Reading these 45 years to the day after JFK was gunned down was horrifying. I wasn't born in 1963 but I've read the stories, seen the news footage, and talked to relatives who remember exactly where they were and what they were feeling when they heard the news. The only thing I can imagine from my own life is that I will never forget where I stood and how I responded when I heard the news of the planes on September 11th and their aftermath.

I believe that the violent death of a President must shake our society to the core. No one feels safe. There is no certainty. How can people consider the actual act with some sense of glee as part of casual conversation?

I remember when I was just a little kid and President Reagan was shot. My friends and I started dancing about thinking this was a good thing because all of our parents had so clearly hated him and the conservatism he stood for and we didn't know any better. In no uncertain terms, the adults with us made it clear that the President being shot was never a reason to celebrate, no matter who he was or how much we disliked him or his policies, that it was a terrible thing, that it was something no person should ever, ever wish for because it would hurt the country too much.

How could someone hate so much, fear so much, or be so ignorant, as to wish such a thing on a person and on a country?

And more to the point, what brings a person to actually attempt such a thing?


Hey, fella,
Feel like you're a failure?
Bailiff on your tail? Your
Wife run off for good?
Hey, fella, feel misunderstood?
C'mere and kill a president...

- "Everybody's Got the Right" from the musical, "Assassins"

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